Sunday, May 30, 2010

On The Subject Of...Gas Nazi, Republicans and SOFs

Our good friend TAD has ventured into a new thang at blogspot called the Gas Nazi and you can read the proceedings over at this site.

It's the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend that is. Saluting and giving thanks for those who served our country and gave their ultimate sacifice so that we can live and do things freely. Unlike North Korea or Iran or The Taliban.

If anything, this BP oil spill mess is the biggest in history, don't let anybody else tell you that it might be. IT IS THE WORST NATIONAL DISASTER. Just think, if the hurricanes go up into the Gulf this summer it will be even more of a pain to clean. I'm thinking at least 14 hurricanes will be named and I think at least 4 of them will be rolling in the gulf throwing all that oil stained water into the cities and towns. Why get that from the hurricane prediction center when you can think of how many will form yourself.

I really can't say anything that is different from what I read from my Twitter friends about the oil spill and who lays blame. Reagan's been dead for 8 years and the left still blames him for this. Miss Drill Baby Drill Palin, not the brightest lightbulb continues to preach drill baby drill while blaming Obama for blowing up the wells. Or something that to effect. I know myself that back when gas was 98 cents a gallon around 1999 that it was time to switch to a alternative version of fuel but the solution was to build Hummers. It's hard to tell whose good and whose evil. The BP oil spill might be Obama's Katrina although the left say that with Bush and Cheney's lax rules also is cause for this. Dick Cheney remains the most evil man that I've known in the past decade which includes the Taliban, OBL, A-Jad, Rush Fatass, Anthrax Coulter and Octomom. But after 40 days of free flowing natural gas and oil turning the gulf of Mexico into a oil pit, the anger gets deeper and more vicious towards BP, Haliburton and Big Oil. Unfortunly, this is the Valdez in our own backyard. And the damage has been done.

It's also that time for the political ads to pop up, and of course our good republicans are shoving them down our throats. The usual bullshit, elect me and I'll create more jobs for you and I'm sure if Culver don't get his shit together, it will be Terry Branstad back into familar digs again. There's something about Bob VanderPlatts that I don't like nor trust and Rod Roberts may as well throw in the towell. Another turnoff is hearing Candidate Suchandsuch start out his commerical with "I approve this message" as in "I approve these lies and bullshit so I can be in office screwing things up even more". There something about a Republican that I do not like, they bitch about health care while in the pocket of lobbyists such as the drug makers and BCBS or the big banks or BIG OIL or Wall Street and getting those kickbacks can secure their retirement quite well. I don't forsee anybody overtaking Dave Lobesack or Bruce Braley, M. Miller-Meeks might give Dave a run for it, but Steve Rathjie has that aura of being a bullshit artist. But it is VanderPlatts that the lesbians and gays will have to fear and he does like that AZ immigration law and wants to draft that here in IA. The Teabaggers like VanderPlatts moreso than Branstad and Terry is more liberal than true Repubs. But then again Chuck Grassley won't have to worry too much, I'm sure he beat Roxy Conlin in the fall, too many old people like Chuck that they keep relecting him again and again. And I'm also certain that Teabag cretin Steve King, the Hugo Chavez of District 5 will be relected so he can continue to get his ideas from Rush Oxycondin and make a fool of himself once again. But then again I think the folk out in District 5 who keep relecting this jackass are braindead too.

Dennis Hopper is dead. Best known as the hippy bike rider in Easy Rider and the hippy freak in Apocalse Now he was 74.

And finally, the Michigan trip next month, my GF has been very busy plotting things to do and places to go to. I'd like to go to Ann Arbor and did tell her to look up some of the FYE stores, after all they might be corporate that don't have a clue on bargains but that's why I go there. In search of the bargains that they don't know about but I do. Frankenmuth i have been up there and wouldn't mind to spend a day there. She talked of Monroe, of not going to Detroit although if I didn't need a passport, going to Canada would be interesting. Nevertheless it will be a week up there. Unlike AZ, I don't know where the places are at so I'm relying on my GF's expertise.

But I'm sure we'll be fine.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Beginning Of Summer

It's the Memorial Day Weekend which is the first unofficial start of summer this weekend. And time for another edition of Top Ten Of The Week. The place to find the odd and the oddball and the occiasional classic rock number if I feel like it.

1. I Robot-Alan Parsons Project 1977 While playing this track to lead off my Sunday night showcase, my GD rocker recliner broke on me which means I gotta replace my rocker recliner with another chair. I enjoy rocking out to the tunes but get very tired of breaking cheap assed bolts on the bottom of the chair. Had that damn Berkline recliner for barely four years and it broke 8 bolts, 7 at the lower right side. Next up, getting a Lazy Boy. Had one for 10 years which is 6 years longer than the Berkline. Anyway, getting back to I Robot, bought this on 8 track way back in 77 and still have that. Also have the album, and no I didn't set out to buy all formats of I Robot, it just happened that way.

2. Dirty Side Down-Widespread Panic 2010 Been a slow year for new music but it's been heating up with the likes of STP, Jason & Scorchers and now our favorite jam band with a brand new album. Funny how some of the melody here reminds me of Shambala from 3 Dog Night but I'm sure they didn't intend that way. It's good to see WP return to John Keane to co produce, after all it was him behind the controls for their best albums (Space Wrangler, Ain't Life Grand) and Dirty Side Down is their best since those albums. Although I do like the much maligned Earth To America album of 2K6.

3. The High Road-Broken Bells 2010 Another new hyped project featuring the lead singer from Death Cab For Cutie and Danger Mouse. It's been getting some airplay on the public radio scene and better triple A stations out there. I got it since it was on sale for 7.99 at Best Buy this week and DAMMIT I forgot to look for the latest Elizabeth Cook CD. Damn Damn Dammit.

4. Railroad Days-Poco 1971 I've been pissed off at Sony/CBS for leaving this track off The Very Best Of Poco so I waited till I found a copy of From The Inside to have this on CD. From The Inside is the debut of Paul Cotton, fresh from Illinois Speed Press (who made one long forgotten album for Columbia around 1970) and this is the most rocking track off From The Inside. Can't say I ever heard anything from Ill. Speed Press but Cotton would be one of the mainstays of Poco after Richie Furay would leave after Good Feeling To Know. Poco remains a acquired taste for me but then again I have 3 albums from them, so perhaps they're not such an acquired taste.

5. I Just Wanna See His Face-The Rolling Stones 1972 From Exile On Main Street which topped the UK charts once again last week. The most strangest song The Stones ever made and it is the favorite of Tom Waits. Exile remains the best 2 record set to listen to, all four sides and not on cd.

6. From Hank To Hendrix-Neil Young 1992 Some people think that Harvest Moon was the better album than Harvest and I leave that up to y'all out there. Neil got his second wind in the 1990s and this was one of his best albums of that time, although I still enjoy Ragged Glory more often than not. This song is the best use of James Taylor as background singer.

7. 36D-The Beautiful South 1992 Aka 36 days and it's their most alt rock sounding. The Beautiful South arised from the ashes of The Housemartins and made a bunch of albums that charted in the UK but mostly made the clearence bins in the US. Their best of Carry On Up The Charts spend something like three months at the number 1 position in the UK. And this was found in the dollar bins at Half Priced Books.

8. Fast As I Can-Stone Temple Pilots 2010 They're baaaack. Let the bashing start. I always loved them enough to buy all their albums, even the Talk Show side project (but not Army Of Anyone) and Scott Wieland is an arrogant prick but I dig him in STP and Velvet Revolver and the guy has more lives than a cat. The new STP is their most pop sounding album ever and I'm sure Don Was had something to do with that.

9. Guitar, Cadillacs-Dwight Yoakam 1986 One of the Neo trad country singers that popped up in the mid to late 80s Dwight made honest to goodness honky tonk albums and had plenty of Buck influence to boot. But what made him go over the masses was his great band featuring Pete Anderson playing guitar but once they had a falling out and Dwight replaced him with others, it just wasn't the same.

10. Knockin On Heaven's Door-Bob Dylan 1973 And a happy birthday to Bob who turned 69 on monday. I swear he's going outlive all of us although his voice died a long time ago..............

Monday, May 24, 2010

Arizona Wishful Thinking

Another shitty year? Seems that way. I've been on a tirade ever since the first of the year came by and things have gone downhill ever since. I kept breaking the damn half inch bolt on the Berkline rocker recliner for the 8th time and in a rage threw it back against the steps and broke the backing. So now, next week I should have a brand new Lazy Boy in its place. Sure hope it lasts longer than the Berkline. Four years of spending 500 dollars on a rocker recliner is unacceptable. I've been pissed off at the Anamosa Furniture Mart ever since i bought it in 2006. They said it would last a while. Six months later the first bolt broke and ever since I've been replacing them every five months. Is it asking too much to have a rocking recliner that I can rock with while jamming out to my tunes on a Sunday night? It seems that way.

I haven't commented on the Dubuque bargain hunt of a couple weeks ago but the only thing I can tell you is that on the way to Plattville, Discount Discs, their record store closed sometime ago, I came across an empty building where it used to be at. One less record store to go to now, and it looks like Richard Branson may be right by saying most if not all music stores will be gone in 2020.

The state of music today is bleak. Radio plays the overplayed, the music mags tout the tuneless and whatever passes on top forty is autotuned to hell. Even Slash says he can't get into the new bands but then again his last album wasn't that great anyway, he's been on autopilot since Use Your Illusion 1 and 2. But I do like Velvet Revolver's last album Libertard.

The last week I've been playing my own tribute to Ronnie James Dio by playing some of his albums with Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his band. Yesterday, Paul Gray, the bass player for the hometown boys Slipknot was found dead in his motel room. He was 38. Hard to believe that Slipknot has been around 10 plus years. We're all getting old. Some sooner before their time it seems. I'm surprised I haven't had a heart attack the way I go off the deep end.

I am my own worst person and it shows in my dreams. Always seems like I'm getting fired at work in those dreams. Don't know why I keep having them, I think I'm doing okay at work but then again I get this them vs me mentality. Funny how we all got along together, taking breaks to play UNO or Sorry but we don't do that anymore. I get caught up in the video game of Bejeweled and it's a meth habit to me, once i start i can't stop and i get into trouble. Steve, our senior can put up with me at times but Bill, the other senior has such a bad attitude on things that nobody wants to go to him for help. He's a good guy at times but I think once he and his wife had his son, he seemed to change, seems to be a bit more bitter than myself. Hard to believe that one. Still think of him as a work brother but sometimes brothers don't get along very well. Sometimes you hate them. And so it goes.

There are two things in my things to do this summer. One is spending time up in Michigan with Nicole for a week and meeting her relatives. Grandma really wants to meet me for some reason. So it's up to Hale and Frankenmuth. Haven't been to Frankenmuth since 1975. Kinda curious to go up there and see if Carling still owns that Brewery we went to. The other is going out to Arizona in late August, a farewell to Hastings and to the music shops that I loved going to when I was in Arizona. Has nothing to do with the immgration bill folks, I go there simply of the fact it's cheaper to fly there than anywhere else. And I know the places i used to go to. Would love to spend time visiting my guitar buddy Dennis Lancaster but if he'd rather hang with his boys, it's not my way to bother him. I did talk to him last year during the 10 days of AZ trip but he was too tired to do anything after working an all nighter as a pilot so I let him be. If there's bitterness between the lines, it's not intended. Spend time with you children as much as you can but getting together with an old friend is going to be few and far between. I love arizona, still do even in their state of affairs but as I approach fifty, it's getting to the point that I won't be able to do the things that I used to do, it was evident when I was out there that too much walking and not enough water led to back spams that lasted the rest of the trip.

I have a perverse fascination with Hastings in the high country. They're like FYE, you hate them for outrageous prices on their used stuff but if you look hard enough in the cutouts, you'll find some undiscovered bargains for 2, 3 dollars. I was very pissed when they closed the Ames store which gave no reason for me to travel to Ames/Des Moines anymore but the last time I went out to the Arizona stores, especially the Flagstaff store, I managed to find more than I could bargain for. But i really want to return the high country and make it out to Kingman and Lake Havasau City and Bullhead City. I've been out there so many times in the last decade that I do feel it's like a home away from home for me. It's just a shame that I can't live out there, I'd love to have a house overlooking the Colorado River in B.H City. I'll even settle for a place on old Route 66 on Andy Devine.

Yes Hastings Entertainment is the evil empire like FYE is the evil empire but i know what I look for when I go into these stores and nothing excites me than finding something out of the ordinary. But the age of the CD is over and maybe so, but there's still enough CDs out there to discover the forgotten and the obscure. And every trip I end up finding the things I was looking for and more. And I'm sure I will on this trip too. As well as Michigan with Nicole too.

And maybe then I'll be more happier. Right now, it seems that we're back in the shit gutter again and I just got a note from the IRS about a problem with my tax form. And I need to replace this damn computer chair. You can only duct tape it so much..........................

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Tribute To Dio

The big news of the week is that Ronnie James Dio passed away Sunday morning from stomach cancer at age 67. If you think of great heavy metal of the 80s, you have to think Dio with his lyrics dealing with dragons, demons, wizards and so on. He played in Black Sabbath, hung around with Richie Blackmore in Rainbow and started as boogie rockers Elf. The praises have come in from every metal singer and bands and nobody has ever had a bad word to say about RJD, calling him one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet.

I'm not what you call an avid fan but I do like a few of his numbers and albums that he made. This week The Top Ten Of The Week pays tribute by picking some of the better known and best loved tunes from my cd player and maybe yours.

1. Man On The Silver Mountain-Rainbow 1975 Richie Blackmore may have been a egomaniac but he would get inspired from time to time as he did with this lead off from the first Rainbow album. One of a few tracks that Dio would continue to play in Dio the band.

2. Stargazer-Rainbow 1976 Perhaps this was Ronnie and Richie's tribute to Zeppelin's Kashmir, it has that Middleeastern sound and this might border on pompous but it starts out with the late great Cozy Powell pounding on the drums before the song kicks in. The first Rainbow album could have been Deep Purple or Elf boogie but Rainbow Rising is the beginning of better things to come. Recorded by Mack at Musicland Studios, and Mack would go on to produce Queen and Black Sabbath Dehumanizer but Martin Birch still produced the affair.

3. Neon Knights-Black Sabbath 1980 By then, probably tired of the clashing ego of Blackmore, Dio moves on to Black Sabbath after Ozzy Osborne left for a solo career. When I listen to Heaven And Hell, the album I find it more of a pop metal sound in songs such as Walk Away (which really sounds pop) then the medival metal of Rising. This was the only album that Bill Ward played drums on, and I could be wrong but it seems like he just was bored with the songs although he drives like a Mofo on Neon Knights. While Ozzy fans railed against the new singer, this record actually sold much better than the last three BS albums and musically, better too.

4. The Mob Rules-Black Sabbath 1981 Originally on Heavy Metal, when The Sabbath redid this song for the Mob Rules album, it was grittier, diritier and much more foreboding. Also helped that Vinnie Appice drove this song into the abyss with a louder sound than Ward had on Heaven And Hell. While I liked Heaven And Hell the album I really loved Mob Rules a bit more, although side two does drag a bit toward the end.

5. Rainbow In The Dark-Dio 1983 A clash of ideas and Dio took off to form his namesake band and taking Vinnie with him. Sabbath would go on adding Ian (deep purple) Gillan and Bill Ward returned to make the so so Born Again but Holy Diver was the better by far. Adding hotshot Viv Campbell on guitar and Jimmy Bain from Rainbow, Dio put together a pretty damn good band. And this did cracked the top 40 for a week or two and even had a MTV video to go with it. May be my all time favorite Dio song.

6. The Last In Line-Dio 1984 His best selling album and another top ten video for the Headbanger's Ball, back in the era that MTV played music videos and not a brain drain. You have to see the video to really believe it.

7. I Could Have Been A Dreamer-Dio 1987 His last song that got any airplay on the real rock stations around here, it features a new guitar player Craig Goldie. Viv Campbell moved on to Def Leppard. Sounds a bit more poppy due to Claude Schnell's keyboards but Goldie keeps it metal. In a way so to speak.

8. Computer God-Black Sabbath 1992 After Live Evil, there were reports that Dio and the BS guys would never work together again but the planets align just right and the guys got back to make to better than what people tells you Dehumanizer album. Again Bill Ward didn't want nothing to do with this, so Vinnie Appice returned and Mack, the dude who recorded Rainbow Rising produced and mixed this to the treble high he could get it. However, the album tanked and went into the bargain bins and Dio returned to his solo career.

9. Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost-Dio 1994 Strange Highways the album. Dio sounded real pissed on this and never sounded more heavier in the process. The new guitarist was the unknown Tracy Grijalva and to these ears he reminds me of Zakk Wylde and that's a good thing. This band also featured Jeff Pilson, on loan from Dokken. This album should have been bigger, but it only got up to #142 on the Billboard chart and it became yet another album for the cut out section. Perhaps my favorite Dio album if I want to get heavy.

10. The Chase-Queensryche 2006 Dio guest starred on Operation Mindcrime 2, playing the mysterous Dr. X and it's interesting to hear the vocal interplay of Dio and Geoff Tate. Mindcrime 2, sold to the faithful but the majority of folks ignored it. It's a bit more unfocused than the original Mindcrime album. The Chase worth a listen.

Around this time, Dio reformed for a third time with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler but this time renaming their project Heaven And Hell and made a live album and last year's The Devil You Know for Rhino Records. There was supposed to be a tour coming up with Metallica and Dio mentioned that a possible reunion with Elf but with Dio's passing that will not take place.

One thing is certain though, Ronnie James Dio had his own style of singing and he gave it all, from the early boogie of Elf to Rainbow to Sabbath to Dio and back again to Sabbath. An original who you cannot replace. Ronnie James Dio will be missed.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

On The Subject Of....Danny Brown

The finding of Danny Brown's body in Mill Creek in Nashville closes a tragic chapter of home boy goes to big city to make it big in music only to lose his life tubing down a flooded creek. And thoughts and prayers go out to the Brown family.

There's not much going on in Springville if you been there, it's a blink and you'll miss it town. Has a post office, a bar and a restrauant and not much more downtown and two gas stations on the way out of town. If I don't feel like going to Cedar Rapids, I'll order a pizza from the local Casey's and go there instead. I don't think I have ever met Danny Brown in town but from what I have known he was a outstanding guitar player that played in garage bands around there. After completing high school, he made his way out to Nashville to make it as a session player. Unfortunly, he picked the wrong day going tubing, the day that Nashville had 18 inches of rain and watching the Cumberland River and Mill Creek go way over their banks on May 2. 10 days later, they finally found his body. More about the story and the sad ending at this website.

I'm not a movie person so I really don't care if there's a A Team movie coming out. I have all the DVD's of that show's five seasons and for pure camp you can't beat Mr. T. Maybe I'll rent it on DVD when it comes out at the end of year but don't hold your breath.

I'm sure I'll check out Shrek-the Final chapter but here's hoping they finally retire that movie. I loved the first and the second installment but the third was subpar.

I think the magic charm of Jack White is wearing off when I listen to the new Dead Weather Sea Of Cowards cd that came out tuesday. White, the last decade was the wunderkind performer that gave us The White Stripes and The Raconteurs but it seems to me that he did more when Meg White was in the band and even though White may have not been the best drummer in the world, something about the way that she played inspired Jack to work around her imperfections and made some classic albums as Icky Thump or Elephant. With Alison Mosshart doing the majority of singing, White is more content to bash away on the drums. Sea Of Cowards is much more noisier than Horehound and less melodic but then again maybe that's the purpose of The Dead Weather. They're certainly not for everybody. Maybe even not for me. I'd give it 2 and a half stars.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Detroit To The Desert

I guess it's common knowledge that I should continue the Top Ten Of The Week(R), since I heard from my trusted sourses that it keeps me sane and I need to do this otherwise, I'm not worth a shit being around with. So as Les Emerson sang a long time ago, "Here I am again, knocking on your door"......

The big news is that for the first time in 35 years I will be making a visit to Michigan for a week up there. Basically this falls under the things we do for love but since my other half have sacificed her time to come down here twice I figure it's time to return the favor. I'm hoping that I can get the chance to find some of those music stores up there to check out and perhaps to see Ann Arbor, the college town in that area. Mostly it's to introduce myself to my GF's relatives since they been hearing such great things about me and it's time for me to set the record straight. Maybe we'll do some roller skating up there, which would be the first time in over 25 years that I've been at a roller rink. Never been to Detroit but I have been up to Jackson Michigan and was on that road that supposely went by Ted Nugent's property.

The other news is a tentative, but I'm also working on returning to Arizona one last time, as a retirement party to going to the music stores down there. Alliegiant Airlanes is having their annual 89 dollar one way fares to Phoenix in the summer again and I'm 98 percent ready to go there again. I like to do the full week thingy, that way I can hit Kingman for a day or two and Flagstaff and hang there and do the Arizona 66 trip but have till the end of May to commit to this project. Which means Hastings Music that this will my final farewell to your stores if I can hit up there. Which means FYE in Fiesta Mall area, you'll get one last look as I spend 3 hours sorting through your cd section, that is if you still have a cd section. Which also means ZIA Records will get a visitor from Iowa one more time. If I do this trip it will be around September.
But the Michigan trip is a reality whereas the Arizona trip is still a dream.

Outside of that I did enjoy Betty White's SNL performance. I don't think I laugh that much since Belushi was still alive. Good job Betty.

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1. Stand And Deliver-Bram Tchaikovsky 1981 From one of my favorite albums Funland, Bram was part of The Motors and then branched out as a solo artist and made two albums for Polydor and Funland for Arista which didn't sell shit. But I played the hell out of this album back in the early 80's. Not on CD.

2. Take A Pebble-Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970 Never had this on record till I found a copy of it for a dollar at Half Priced Books last weekend and this is the worse excuse of over the top progressive rock that critics hated about this band. Actually I find parts of this album and Tarkus somewhat amusing.

3. Hustle And Cuss-The Dead Weather 2010 Perhaps these guys are the new ELP judging by their over the top and noisy music. Can't say it's rock and roll but it is noisy.

4. Trenchtown Rock-Bob Marley & The Wailers 1975 Live, to me pretty much sums up what makes Bob Marley so great, plenty of energy and plenty of good vibes that it can bring you out of any bad mood that you might had. "One good thing about music is that when it hits you feel no pain, so hit me with music......

5. Mad Jack-Baker Gurvitz Army 1975 Another album found in the dollar bins, Ginger Baker hooks up with Adrian & Paul Gurvitz and made a so so album. Sure wasn't the second coming of Cream.

6. Norman-Sue Thompson 1961 Campy one hit wonder. Found a Best Of Sue Thompson on CD for 2 bucks and thought I'd check it out. Had a few other minor hits penned by John D Loudermilk who was one of the major songwriters of the 60s and later on she dueted with the late Don Gibson on some top 30 hits for MGM/Hickory.

7. Give Praises-Yabby You 1978 Taken from the In The Red Zone-The Essential Collection Of Dub that Shanachie issued in 1997, Dub is that echoey, bassy rhythm tracks that lots of folk smoke their cannibis to.

8. Everybody Crying Mercy-Mose Allison 1968

9. Graveyard Shift-Uncle Tupelo 1990 While some people like Wilco or Son Volt more, I still perfer the original cowpunkers.

10. Raising Steam-Jethro Tull 1987 From the Heavy Metal Grammy Winner Crest Of A Knave, the only time that Ian and company get to heavy metal is when they add a bit of ZZ Top guitar on this album. If nothing else it was a good comeback album for Jethro Tull, after giving us the awful Under Wraps. The production shows its 80s roots but it still holds up very well, even though it's not exactly our ideal of Heavy Metal.

RIP Danny Brown

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Crabb Record Reviews

No shortage of music of to be reviewed but I do my best in trying to keep up.

While critics go gaga over The New Pornographers-Together and The Hold Steady-Heaven Is Whenever I tend to think that these bands don't rock as hard as I would like them to. The New Pornos have always made winning albums including 2007's Challengers, Together is one album that might just be their least interesting which is saying a lot. Loved Twin Cinema, liked Electric Version and still think that band is the best use for Neko Case but Together tends to wonder around the melodies too much and not enough uptempo numbers to really recommend it but if your a fan, you will not be disappointed. Same thing with Hold Steady although it's a step up from Stay Positive. Still I don't think they can hold a melody long enough to make it a hook laden like Bruce Springsteen, but they have been doing Springsteen better than the boss himself of late.

I remain old school rock and roll, three chords and the truth and if your influences go back to the mid 60s era Kinks and The Who, then Len Price 3 Photographs is a better listen although they seem to be finding their own sound and relying less on the Who like backing chorus on previous albums. Love the kick ass title track and the Stooge riffing of I Don't Believe You. Side 2 doesn't hold my attention span very well and it is the least of the Len price 3 albums so far but it's loads better than what is passed off for modern rock nowadays.

Asia is back with a new album Omega (Frontiers Records) and it's better than the 2008 Phoenix album. For old prog pop rockers, they actually have some decent melodies on Finger On The Trigger and Light The Way and this might be their best album since the debut, if anybody cares about this type of music anymore. John Wetton and Geoff Downes will not wow you with their lyrics, to which deals with being a soul survivor (rewritten here), or rewriting The Smile Has Left Your Eyes or songs about Holy War but I like Omega a lot. They haven't rocked this hard with conviction since the first album and if they keep on rocking like this somebody is going to have a heart attack. Asia is beginning to remind me of Crosby Stills and Nash to which back in the 70s they couldn't get along together but now old age has mellowed them to make music and tour together. As for the odd man out John Payne who has his own Asia band, he's doing well although I never cared much for his singing on the album that he sat in, Aqua. I'm sure today's people don't give a shit for the reformed Asia but I do. Omega still proves that when they're in the right frame of mind to put up with each other, they can still make interesting music.

New Pornographers-Together (Matador) B
Hold Steady-Heaven Is Whenever (Vagrant) B+
Len Price 3-Pictures (Wicked Cool) B+
Asia-Omega (Frontiers) B+

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nashville Flood and Chely Wright Is Lesbian

Over the weekend Nashville had 18 plus inches of rain. The Cumberland River went up to 50 feet and paid a visit to the Grand Old Opry, LP Stadium and the historic downtown area. This does mirror the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids where 14 inches and 31 feet of muddy flood water changing the town forever. Opryland and the new GOO will be out of comission for a while it seems. That beautiful stage and seating area, the hotel room and lobby, under smelly flood mud left behind? Just like Hancher in Iowa City and The Paramount in CR, gonna take a lotta work to clean the mess up and our thoughts and prayers to everybody down there. We're still trying to clean up almost 2 years after our little flood. One of the reasons why I hate springtime. Get too much rain to the point it floods.

Somewhere along the flood, a dude from Springville who moved out to Nashville to seek playing in a band is missing among the flooded ruins. Danny Young, an aspiring guitar player went missing after going tubing. And hasn't been heard from since. Here's hoping he can be found alive.

One of the new releases this week is from Chely Wright, who had a number one hit with Single White Female for MCA in 1999. She made news by coming out of the closet and saying that she is gay. And I'm sure the Nashvegans are up in arms with that, especially right winger John Rich. Supposely Rich confronted her about this a few years ago preaching total damnation and you'll never work in Nashville again if you're a lesbian. She almost decided to leave town on a bullet but decided against it and wrote a bunch of new songs dealing with her feelings and it's now out on Vanguard and produced by Rodney Crowell who I am certain will make this album perhaps her biggest statement but I don't expect to see any videos on CMT or GAC if John Rich gets his way. But then again, not too many people bought Rich's flop album of last year. It shouldn't bother people if Wright is gay or not, although in my own estimation that I would have liked to change her mind had I met her but not even Brad Paisley could not change her mind either.

RIP Freeway Express Lounge, which got bulldozed down this week. Used to be a hangout for me till the floods of 2008 made it unsafe to be in and despite people trying to get it on the national historical site list, that failed. The Freeway Express Lounge was about five blocks away from Broadcast Manor, my old place of residence in the early 90s.

Kenneth Laymon, the trucker who rammed into a van killing 10 people on a way to a wedding in Iowa was talking on a cellphone and speeding on a Kentucky interstate. A reason why texting and talking on cellphones should be banned. Especially from speeding truckers. Laymon died in the crash as well.

For the BP mess in the Gulf, this is a good reason to get off the oil although the GOP and Sarah Palin don't think so. Of course gas prices have gone up 12 cents due to this and don't let anybody else tell you otherwise. Again we'll all pay at the pump for this oil spill.

Finally, I can't do the blog at work anymore. They have stuck a firewall on there so I won't be able to broadcast from work. And though I'm done with the Top Ten Of The Week, I'm still hearing tunes on a daily basis.

Some things in the player

Len Price 3-Pictures
New Pornographers-Together
Hold Steady-Heaven Is Whenever
Pablo Cruise-Want You Tonight
Jason & The Scorchers-Halcyon Times
Saliva-Survival Of The Sickest
Willie Nelson-Family Bible
Bobby Darin-If I Was A Carpenter

and Rhino's Children Of Nuggets compliation that the kind dude at FYE gave me at a discount.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

On The Subject Of-Owsley, flat tires, etc.

I was saddened to hear bout Will Owsley taking his life friday night. Owsley made one of the best power pop albums of the late 90s with his S/T album, done for Giant Records but Irving Azloff closed the label down and Warner Brothers who had first dibs on Giant artists didn't promote it. A lost classic from start to finish it had such great songs as I'm Alright, Oh No The Radio and my favorite, Good Old Days to which I heard played over the radio at Hardee's a few years ago. His next album The Hard Way wasn't as good as his first, it was a bit darker. Owsley was Amy Grant's guitarist for the past 16 years and Will did work with Shana Twain in the 90s. Both albums are fairly easy to find but I do recommend his 1999 Giant album.

I have a problem with my car blowing tires while driving and today was no exception. In the past three years I have to replace 6 tires in 3 years because of blowouts or nails on the road or just simply shitty tire. There's nothing more annoying than driving and all of a sudden getting that vibation that you're driving on a rim and once again this tire just split along the side. Thankfully it was on the passenger side of the car and I didn't have to deal with the speeders on Highway 30 but I am getting a bit tired of this shit. So, come Monday guess I have to get some replacements. I hate driving on those damn doughnut tires that come with the car and you can't drive more than 55.

My  friend Chris Dutcher plants a very unflattering picture why he didn't want to join The Townedgers (He couldn't get along with Jack Orbitson). We met at Waldenbooks in 75 at Lindale and struck up a friendship till he moved to Nashville in the late 90s.  He didn't like none of my high school GFs, he called Janice B an uppity stuck up Miss Prim And Proper; a honor's student, high school cheerleader who sole purpose was to make my life miserable as she could and a few other choice names. He did meet Clarise around 1996 and called her a golddigging harlot that cared more about getting her sons a step dad. That was kind of overdoing that I thought. So I thought I respond to this in the most civil way possible.

He may be right about Janice, we didn't see eye to eye and basically it was over in 1980 while me and Dutcher were driving down the road and she was with some new guy. There is some documented evidence that she did like me the first year she knew me but it seemed that like things were never meant to be. I had chances, she had chances and perhaps when working at Applegate's and having her being a Cook and me a Dishwasher was fate punishing me all over again. I hated high school for the fact that I had to deal with her in that context. And trying to show support for her being a cheerleader that one icy night on the way to Maquoketa, driving 75 miles an hour on icy 64, I damn near met my maker while the car slipped and slide and did a couple 360s but we didn't go into the ditch. But then again Janice never knew that and if she did she wouldn't cared anyway. It's funny how Janice told me in 1977 after she stood me up on a slow dance that "she was the only social life that I'll ever have" and I telling her BS, or are you planning to open up your own record store. I didn't make the best judgements back then and there and perhaps we could have been going steady in HS. But then again, I wasn't that interested and never should have let my guard down and let her into my heart after Jeanette, my original love interest, moved on to other guys. Teenage love never lasts anyway. After all, Janice moved out of state and got married and ended up getting what she wanted in life. If I had to do it all over again, I would have just said no and meant it. And quit Applegate's Landing when she became a cook and I got to be a fucking dishwasher.

In life over 95 percent of high school sweethearts in love fade away and split apart and sometimes you might get a chance to reunite and try again but it's never the same. Been there done that never again. I feel sorry for one of my friend's son who got dumped by his GF and the poor kid is thinking the world is going to end. And I felt that way too. Have a good cry and talk it out with your parents who are beind you. They're not your enemies. But do not dwell on what could have been. It will fuck you up more than you know and I know this. I been down that road before.

And tomorrow will be a new day and new ways to meet somebody special for you. Took me over 30 years to find that special person. A broken heart hurts like hell but you will learn from your mistakes and be a bit more careful who you give your heart to. Take the time to get to know them. A high school schoolboy crush is a fleeting moment but a good loving woman is forever and they are extremely hard to find. Good luck Austin and trust your parents. They'll be there for you, long after Miss Prim And Proper have moved on to the next guy (and the next, and the next..)

I know. I lived your life before.

Side Note: Dutcher still lives in around Nashville.  He writes from time to time.